Prevalence and mechanism of resistance against macrolides, lincosamides, and streptogramins among **Enterococcus faecium** isolates from food-producing animals and hospital patients in Belgium
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Microbial drug resistance : mechanism, epidemiology, and disease .. - Larchmont, N.Y.
, p. 135-141
University of Antwerp
The prevalence of acquired resistance to streptogramins, macrolides, and lincosamides and the genetic background of this resistance was investigated in Enterococcus faecium strains isolated from food-producing animals and hospital patients 45 years after the ban of streptogramins as growth promoters. The minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) of quinupristin/dalfopristin (Q/D), virginiamycin M1 (virgM1), erythromycin (ery), tylosin (tyl), and lincomycin (lin) were determined by the agar dilution method for E. faecium isolates derived from pigs (80), broilers (45), and hospitalized patients (103). Resistance or susceptibility was interpreted using a microbiological criterion and breakpoints recommended by the Clinical Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI), if available. The isolates were also screened by PCR for erm(B), lnu(A), lnu(B), mef(A/E), vat(D), vat(E), vga(A), vga(B), and vgb(A) genes. Acquired resistance to Q/D, virgM1, ery, tyl, and lin was detected in 34%, 96%, 46%, 46%, and 69% of the porcine strains, respectively. For broiler strains this was 15% (Q/D), 98% (virgM1), 69% (ery), 71% (tyl), and 89% (lin) and for human strains 23% (Q/D), 65% (virgM1), 54% (ery), 52% (tyl), and 60% (lin). Strains showing cross-resistance against macrolides and lincosamides almost always carried the erm(B) gene. This gene was present in 64% of the Q/D-resistant isolates. Only in two human and three broiler Q/D- and virgM1-resistant isolates, a combination of the erm(B) and vat(D) or vat(E) genes was found. The genetic background of resistance could not be determined in the other Q/D- or virgM1-resistant strains. This study demonstrates that streptogramin resistance is frequently present in strains from hospitalized patients and food-producing animals, but the genetic basis hitherto mostly remains obscure.